The COVID-19 crisis has created the biggest opportunity for the live entertainment business in a long, long time.
Suddenly, people are used to doing things virtually: meetings, conferences, even weddings! Live entertainment organizations and artists have turned to live streams to provide substitutes for the in-person experience.
Online live events can be a substitute, but let’s also think of them as a new form of art, a new medium. We’re at the dawn of that medium, and people are just now figuring out how to get the most out of it.
Here are three reasons to produce online live events:
- They expand audiences and awareness
- They can be highly profitable
- They create entirely new possibilities that can’t be done in person.
With in-person events, you can only reach people who can come to your venue, but it’s powerful! Getting people in the door creates fans, generates revenue, and spreads awareness. Taking live events online lets you reach the many people who don’t live in your city but would love to experience your events. People can become fans and supporters from anywhere in the world.
Organizations that already produce online events have found that people who become fans via virtual events will come to in-person events more. Locals may try an online event first, then become regulars, and remote fans may make a special trip to your city because of your online event. That’s a form of marketing you can’t replicate with a paid ad.
And here's the second great thing about this form of marketing: it actually makes you money. When done right, online live events are really profitable. It’s not the same business model as an in-person event, but if you put on a good show and charge the right price, it works. The “free show from your sofa” era is over. The next phase is about putting on great shows that will attract paid customers. When you can do this, you’ll move beyond survival mode and return to getting your artists paid and truly sustaining your organization.
The third thing we love about the future of online events is that it creates entirely new possibilities. With any new medium, people start by just carrying over the old medium to the new one. But soon, innovators come along and create something new, that’s more suited to the new medium. That's already happening with online live events. Some inventive tweaks can make concerts, plays, comedy and other traditional performances come to life in a new way online. And beyond that, entirely new forms of entertainment will appear. We don't know what those are yet, but we can imagine. They might give people new types of involvement, participation, and access to entertainment. We can’t wait to see what the innovators in this area do.
So let's recap. You should start producing online live events because it's a great marketing tool, it can be very profitable, and it opens up entirely new possibilities artistically.
This series is designed to help you think about how to put online live events to work for you. We’ll answer some of the most common questions, dispel a few myths, and help you get started.
It has been a historically horrible time for our industry. Online live events won’t fix everything, but they can help. And even more than that, this is a very big, very shiny opportunity that we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for this crisis. It’s like a message from the future about how to make sure our industry gets through this madness and comes out poised to be stronger than ever.
Online live events are part of that formula, so keep browsing through our resources here at Stellar Academy and we’ll learn together.
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